Facebook is not the future of social networks education, but Google+ might be.
As Ryan Bretag says, it is likely that Google+ will be the way things work in education networking.
First, Google+ allows you to manage your own identity while you choose your friends, which means it will help you choose the route you need to take to learn what you need to learn.
Second, Google+ will go some way to making the influencer hierarchy less top heavy, as more people are able to use the field trial and create their small circles of friends, family, and acquaintances.
Note: In this posting, I am starting from the premise that Facebook actually is, in the minds of some educators and some education investors, a model of how a web-based social networking education LMS could work. I understand we have many LMS options out there, but I also believe that we are not quite there yet in terms of what a real unified system, based on social media principles and learning principles, would look like. I am just taking a stab.
Google+, Not Facebook, Makes Having an Identity Easier:
Facebook is mainly a marketing tool that tells you what you must do in order to be accepted, liked, broadcast or listened to. There’s no real sense of opting out of the program. If you can imagine a learning program that uses Facebook like qualities, there will be very few routes that you can take to share your information. It will be very hard to track where the information is being shared, and with whom, and most of all, why. Google+ offers you some nuances, like being able to differentiate between friends, family, acquaintances. These different groups foster different senses of identity. Having an identity makes it possible to learn, because your identity is like your base. you can take what you learn and measure it against what you know, and what you don’t know.
Google+, Not Facebook, When It Comes to Networking:
Having an education network is going to mean knowing where to go to learn what you need to learn. It’s mainstream and common sense now to rely on networking to find solutions, find opportunities and to succeed in education and work. Facebook’s approach to networking is to encourage you to broadcast your self all over the social web in a way that makes it hard to know anyone you need to know except for the most important people, or the people who are really good at getting their name out there.
That’s going to make it impossible to know whom to rely on for information. Robert Scoble may know a hell of a lot, but he’s not scalable. He’s not going to be able to answer YOUR questions. But someone, a smaller, smarter fish in the ocean, can do that. How are you going to find them? You will find them through friends and word of mouth. That’s the new education networking.